External Evaluators

Final Technical Report

Work Packages

Project - Meetings

Other Meetings




Heritage sheep data base





Mergelland   EFABIS Data


International Name


Local Name

Mergelland Schaap


Southern Netherlands

Breeding females



Trend of population size


Flock book established



Origin – history

The Mergelland breed is a Dutch Heath breed originating from the native Meuse sheep with crossing with the Kempen Heath sheep (but only since 1970). In the late 1800’s, the sheep industry was small-scaled in southern Netherlands (province called Limburg). In Limburg the loess lands are fertile, and the conditions for agriculture were intensive. Therefore, there was hardly space for large sheep flocks, and sheep industry was not a big issue in Limburg those days. Only the poor parts of the country side that were hard to reach and the calcareous lands were grazed by sheep. In this part of The Netherlands, the lands are calcareous because of the marl (“mergel” in Dutch) and resulting in a very typical plant and animal life.


Breed description

The Mergelland is white and polled. The Mergelland is adapted to loamy soil and extensive conditions, and is managed in one location with housing being provided up to 2 months in the year. Some flocks are kept in sheep-folds at night. The Mergelland is mainly used for conservation grazing, although wool products are valuable.


Conservation activities

Conservation activities currently involve 36 flocks.
Cryopreservation of semen: 168 doses (of 7 rams)


Name: Oos Mergerlland Sjaop
Contact person: Math Hameleers
Address: Winterslag 6
Postal Code and city: 6213 GN Maastricht
Country: The Netherlands
E-mail: -
Website: www.mergellandschaap.nl  (only in Dutch)

Action Heritage Sheep AGRI GEN RES 040 receives financial support from the European Commission, Genetic Resources in Agriculture, under European Commission Council Regulation (EC) No 870/2004 AGRI GEN RES 2006 HERITAGE SHEEP